Salt beef and bagel pop-up Monty's Deli finds a permanent home in London

Classic Jewish dishes enter the mainstream again as the cult pop-up opens a permanent base in London's East End


With Carnegie Deli the latest of New York iconic Jewish eateries closing its doors on 31st December, you’d think Kaddish was on the cards for the old-fashioned Jewish deli.

On this side of the pond, however, there seems plenty of life left in the format. All over the UK, Jewish food is still enjoying a renaissance. Heimishe favourites are popping up on menus or market stalls all over. From Bristol (Aron’s, Edna’s and new salt beef stall — The Pickled Brisket) to Bermondsey (original site of popular salt beef and bagel stand, Monty’s Deli) people cannot get enough.

Monty’s Deli has built a huge following of diners hungry for piled-high salt beef sandwiches made from Ogus’s home-cured beef. So popular has the (non-kosher) nosh been — helped by a huge thumbs up from ‘not-so-huge-anymore’ chef Tom Kerridge — that founder Mark Ogus and chef Owen Barratt are soon to open a 65 cover site in (now) trendy Hoxton in London's East End.

Barratt will make everything on site from closely guarded recipes inspired by the food Ogus grew up on. They’ll be baking their own bagels to serve with home-made mustard and pickles, as well as the cured meats Ogus has spent years perfecting.

Ogus, who grew up in Hatch End, has drawn on his grandmother and mother’s chopped liver recipes for the Monty’s repertoire. There’s some irony in the fact that inspiration has come from the same huge New York delis that are currently fading away from New York’s landscape, but also that Ogus is returning Grandpa Monty’s favourite food to the neighbourhood in which Grandpa grew up in the 1920’s.

“It was my grandfather, Monty, who introduced me to the Jewish food of my youth — he was what you’d call a fresser.” 

Monty would have been delighted with the nightly Shabbat-style dinner, with chopped liver, house-baked challah, a serving bowl of chicken soup to share, family-style, then roast chicken and sides, with lokshen pudding to finish. I’m ready when they are - roll on April.

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